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Sox agree to minor league deal with Ryan Sweeney


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#1 SoxScout


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:14 PM

According to a major league source, the Red Sox have reached an agreement on a minor league deal with outfielder Ryan Sweeney. Sweeney, who turns 28 next month, spent 2012 with the Red Sox after being acquired from the A’s in a trade along with right-hander Andrew Bailey for outfielder Josh Reddick and minor leaguers Miles Head and Raul Alcantara.

 

Sweeney hit .260 with a .303 OBP, .373 slugging mark and .675 OPS in 63 games, with his season coming to a sudden halt on July 30 when he broke his hand (requiring season-ending surgery) by punching a clubhouse door at Fenway Park.. However, his production diminished considerably after he suffered a concussion while making a spectacular diving catch against the Phillies. At the time of that injury, he was hitting .311/.341/.443/.784. Thereafter, he hit .183/.247/.268/.515. In parts of seven big league seasons, he owns a lifetime average of .280 with a .338 OBP, .378 slugging mark and .715 OPS.

http://fullcount.wee...f-ryan-sweeney/



#2 Plympton91


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:12 PM

Once they put Kalish on the 60 day DL they'll have a 40 man slot for him and he becomes the platoon with Gomes, right?

#3 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:00 PM

God I hope not. Sweeney can't hit a lick, they can do much better, especially for a left fielder.

#4 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:18 PM

Sweeney can't hit a lick

 

Unless it's disguised as a door. <rimshot>

 

Well, they might as well do what we heard they were thinking about doing with Kalish and have him do some 1st base reps in Florida. At least he's built like a first baseman, even if he barely hits like a shortstop.



#5 Dick Pole Upside

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:28 PM

@RyanSweeney12: Don't worry redsox nation no punching doors this year #gosox


Don't squander this chance, Ryan.

#6 Rasputin


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

Once they put Kalish on the 60 day DL they'll have a 40 man slot for him and he becomes the platoon with Gomes, right?

 

I don't see why. He's depth.



#7 bombdiggz

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:45 PM

I don't see why. He's depth.

 

I agree. Given the forty man roster shuffle thats been going on this offseason. I'm sure they wouldn't mind using the 40 man roster flexibility the minor league deal affords them.



#8 Plympton91


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:20 AM

I don't think so. They have to have a platoon partner for Gomes. Sweeney will be competing with Nava and with who else? Nava has a higher on base percentage, but he's a average left fielder at best and can't play CF at all. Sweeney gives you coverage for all three OF positions, and superior defense at the corners. Prior to his concussion, he was showing signs of being able to use Fenway as a hitter. My guess is that he'll win the job in the spring; Nava has options too.

#9 saintnick912


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

So if he is originally signed to a minor league deal for the year, is that similar to having an option year?  If he's added to the 40 and called up, can he be shuttled to Pawtucket?  I assume the adding to the 40 would be the "contract purchased by Boston" transaction, I'm not sure how the 25 transaction would work at that point.

 

If he already had an option outstanding, I guess this is a moot question.

 

If this "adds an option" it seems like a good trick that fringey guys could pull to add value and get signed, especially when coming back from an injury.



#10 Red(s)HawksFan

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

So if he is originally signed to a minor league deal for the year, is that similar to having an option year?  If he's added to the 40 and called up, can he be shuttled to Pawtucket?  I assume the adding to the 40 would be the "contract purchased by Boston" transaction, I'm not sure how the 25 transaction would work at that point.

 

If he already had an option outstanding, I guess this is a moot question.

 

If this "adds an option" it seems like a good trick that fringey guys could pull to add value and get signed, especially when coming back from an injury.

It doesn't "add an option".  Being signed to a minor league deal is the only way the Sox can stash him in the minors.  Being signed to a major league contract would require being on the 40-man roster and since he is a veteran with five years of service time, he can't be "optioned" at all.  So if he's on the 40-man, he either needs to be on the 25-man roster or on the DL.

 

I'm fairly certain that players with Sweeney's level of MLB service time also have automatically included a series of out-clauses in their minor league deals such that if they're not put on the big league roster by a certain date, they can opt-out and force the parent club into either adding the player to the 40-man or releasing the player.  Aaron Cook exercised his opt-out last year (May 1 deadline) and forced the Red Sox to call him up or release him (obviously, they called him up).

 

So what the minor league deal affords a team is some roster flexibility at the start of the season, but not total control of the player for the year.  If Sweeney is happy playing in Pawtucket all year until the Sox have a need for him, then he'll stay.  But if a deadline comes up and he thinks he can latch on and get a big league job somewhere else, he can force the Red Sox's hand.



#11 Paradigm


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

As a fourth or fifth outfielder, I thought Sweeney should much better skills than some of the guys we've had playing the role in the past, like Darnell McDonald. I think he's a great option for the bench, much better than Nava. He has superior contact skills; I don't care if Nava hit a whopping six home runs last year.



#12 JakeRae


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

Nava is far more likely to open the season in Boston. This is true for the simple reason that Nava is on the 40-man roster. The difference between Nava and Sweeney isn't large and starting with Nava and Sweeney in the minors frees up a 40-man slot early in the season and preserves flexibility and depth. Once Sweeney gets near his first opt-out, this calculus shifts as Nava has an option remaining. I'm not convinced Sweeney is better than Nava in the first place, and you'd have to really be convinced to sacrifice a roster spot at the beginning of the season on moving Sweeney onto the 40-man before it is necessary.



#13 BCsMightyJoeYoung

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

I can't produce a link but I think Sweeney can opt out if he's not on the 25 man roster on Opening Day.
So one assumes that, if he has a good ST then it's probably in his best interests to try for a MLB gig if the Sox don't add him to the 25. I prefer Nava but to keep both it will have to be Sweeney.

Edit:
http://www.mlbtrader..._sox/index.html

Edited by BCsMightyJoeYoung, 28 January 2013 - 03:44 PM.


#14 pjr

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

I can't produce a link but I think Sweeney can opt out if he's not on the 25 man roster on Opening Day.
So one assumes that, if he has a good ST then it's probably in his best interests to try for a MLB gig if the Sox don't add him to the 25. I prefer Nava but to keep both it will have to be Sweeney.

http://www.weei.com/...nor-league-deal

 

The agreement occurred earlier today — at a time when it appears likely that Ryan Kalish will require shoulder surgery that is likely to sideline him for months at the start of the 2013 season. Sweeney has an opt-out in the deal that would allow him to elect free agency if he is not added to the major league roster prior to the end of spring training.



#15 DeJesus Built My Hotrod


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

I don't see why. He's depth.

Given that the reported opt-out, if he is around he will have to be on the 40 man roster.   We'll see how he shakes out vs Nava but as others have noted, Nava had a miserable second half which you can attribute to his wrist.  On the other hand, the league could have figured him out.   Sweeney has no power but the fact is that over his career, he has shown that he is capable of producing at least what Nava's full season OPS+ was in 2012 and he is two years younger.  

 

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter - its essentially six of one, half a dozen of the other other.



#16 Rasputin


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:17 PM

Given that the reported opt-out, if he is around he will have to be on the 40 man roster.   We'll see how he shakes out vs Nava but as others have noted, Nava had a miserable second half which you can attribute to his wrist.  On the other hand, the league could have figured him out.   Sweeney has no power but the fact is that over his career, he has shown that he is capable of producing at least what Nava's full season OPS+ was in 2012 and he is two years younger.  

 

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter - its essentially six of one, half a dozen of the other other.

 

The bottom line, I think is that unless Kalish pulls off a miracle, left field is a position we go into the deadline and probably the off season wanting to upgrade.



#17 SoxScout


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

Sweeney said he has an opt-out clause, so if he doesn’t make the roster, he can become a free agent.

 

“Anything to stay out of Triple-A,” he said. “I know I have to have a good spring training … But I’m in the prime of my career, I’m healthy now, I’m in good shape with what I’ve done in the offseason. A lot of this game is all about opportunity.”

 

Sweeney is a career .280 hitter in 535 career big-league games and can provide good defense at all three outfield spots. He said he is healthy and in prime shape and excited to prove himself.

 

A two-week workout session earlier this month in California with Hall of Famer Rod Carew improved his swing, Sweeney said, and has him excited to show it off in spring training.

 

“My agent, Larry Reynolds, has known him forever,” Sweeney said. “He has lived out in Los Angeles forever. I was going to go last year, but it didn’t work out, getting traded and everything. This year, I made it a priority. He does a lot of things for the Twins, and they have spring training in Fort Myers, too. So he said if there’s anything I need, to give him a call.”

http://thegazette.co...back-to-boston/



#18 Paradigm


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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

The bottom line, I think is that unless Kalish pulls off a miracle, left field is a position we go into the deadline and probably the off season wanting to upgrade.

It really all hinges on Ellsbury. If he sticks around, we shouldn't have any long-term issues in the outfield with Bradley coming up.



#19 Rasputin


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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

It really all hinges on Ellsbury. If he sticks around, we shouldn't have any long-term issues in the outfield with Bradley coming up.

 

The likelihood of him being good enough that we want to keep him and not so good that we don't want to pay him is rather small, don't you think?

 

Also, we keep forgetting about Brentz. Nobody thinks he's a star but that doesn't mean he can't contribute.



#20 Papelbon's Poutine

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

It really all hinges on Ellsbury. If he sticks around, we shouldn't have any long-term issues in the outfield with Bradley coming up.

 

Really? Then what, Ellsbury back to LF? There wouldn't be much power coming from the OF in that scenario. Defensively, they'd be great. But if Ellsbury returns to 2011 form with the bat, I think there's no chance he sticks around. And if he doesn't and the Sox can resign him, then I think JBJ becomes trade bait for a RF or 1B, unless they can move Victorino and acquire a thumper for RF.






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